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Platinum Jubilee: Queen makes appearance after final pageant

June 5, 2022

Singer Ed Sheeran brought the four-day celebrations to an end but the highlight was an appearance by the queen after she missed the last two days of events due to "discomfort."

Queen Elizabeth II and Royal Family stand on the balcony during the Platinum Jubilee Pageant at the Buckingham Palace in London
The Queen has had to withdraw from several of the jubilee events due to poor healthImage: Frank Augstein/AP Photo/picture alliance

The UK enjoyed the final day of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations to mark Queen Elizabeth II's 70 years on the throne on Sunday.

Capping off the four-day weekend, thousands of revelers headed to Buckingham Palace to watch the final pageant despite the overcast weather.

After skipping most of the events, Elizabeth delighted fans by making a final appearance at Buckingham Palace for the end of the celebrations.

What the queen said about the Platinum Jubilee

The 96-year-old Queen has only appeared in public twice during the four-day festivities. She was not present at the pageant, and also skipped events such as a church service on Friday and the Epsom Derby and Party at the Palace on Saturday.

She has limited her recent public appearance due to what the palace describes as "episodic mobility issues."

The crowds did eventually get a glimpse of the queen when she appeared for the finale on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, alongside the three next heirs to the crown Prince Charles, William and George, to huge cheers.

Buckingham Palace released a statement from the queen after the celebrations had finished.

The queen said: "I have been humbled and deeply touched that so many people have taken to the streets to celebrate my Platinum Jubilee.

"While I may not have attended every event in person, my heart has been with you all; and I remain committed to serving you to the best of my ability, supported by my family.

"I have been inspired by the kindness, joy and kinship that has been so evident in recent days, and I hope this renewed sense of togetherness will be felt for many years to come.

"I thank you most sincerely for your good wishes and for the part you have all played in these happy celebrations."

What happened at the pageant?

A royal lunch was followed by a grand pageant involving members of the military as well as an array of performances highlighting Britain's diversity.

Armed forces headed the parade, flanking the horse-drawn carriage that transported her during her coronation 69 years ago. A video of that day was projected onto the windows.

Two hundred military horses led the three-kilometer (nearly two-mile) route to the palace.

A hologram of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II is projected on the Gold State Coach during the Platinum Pageant in London
Queen Elizabeth II was coronated 69 years ago, over a year after she became Queen following her father's deathImage: Ben Stansall/AFP

They were followed by performers who displayed scenes from the monarch's life through dance and other acts. They were accompanied by music, giant puppets, vintage cars, and celebratory costumes.

Many of the thousands of participants came from countries in the commonwealth of which the Queen is also head of state.

Ascending the throne at the age of 25 when her father King George VI died, Elizabeth has since become the longest-reigning monarch in British history seeing 14 UK prime ministers and 14 US presidents come and go.

What is the atmosphere like on Jubilee weekend?

DW Correspondent Charlotte Chelsom-Pill was in London for the "unprecedented celebration."

She said that people were enjoying themselves following the past couple of challenging years due to the coronavirus pandemic as well as the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

She added that many people across of the country, "regardless of whether or not they're fans of the monarchy, many are just reflecting on that unprecedented 70 years" that the Queen has been on the throne.

Members of military take part in a parade during the Platinum Jubilee Pageant
Sunday's pageant included one of the largest military parade's in the UK's recent historyImage: Henry Nicholls/REUTERS

As for Sunday's events, she said that "there are a number of stars from TV, sport and entertainment" adding that "we've seen the golden carriage that gets wheeled out occasionally for these royal events including, including the Queen's coronation."

The royal family, and in particular the Queen, enjoys widespread support across the UK with polls showing that a majority of people wanting to see the monarchy continue.

Ed Sheeran rounds off celebration

The whole event came to an end with a performance by singer Ed Sheeran before a rendition of the national anthem, "God Save the Queen."

The concert followed Saturday's star-studded event that saw big names such as Diana Ross, Queen, Rod Stewart, Alicia Keys and Andrea Bocelli perform.

Elizabeth's eldest son and next in line for the throne, Prince Charles, spoke on Saturday, saying: " Your Majesty, mummy, you laugh and cry with us and, most importantly, you have been there for us for these 70 years."

Prince Charles, left, and Princess Anne attend the Platinum Jubilee Pageant outside Buckingham Palace in London
Other members of the royal family took part in Sunday's events even though the Queen did notImage: Frank Augstein/AP Photo/picture alliance

On Sunday, Charles and his wife, Camilla, were at The Oval cricket ground for the "Big Jubilee Lunch" where they mingled with crowds. At the same time, millions of people across the country joined street parties.

ab/rt (AP, AFP)